Australian Cattle Dogs are often characterized by traits that contributed to their original use as herding dogs, including being intelligent, active, energetic, and watchful. However, as with other working breeds, the athleticism and stamina of the Australian Cattle Dog requires physical and mental stimulation in the family environment. Australian Cattle Dogs are eager to learn and respond well to reward-based training, allowing them to participate in a vast array of enjoyable activities including agility, flyball, and Frisbee that help the dog bond with its family. However, its herding tendencies can impair this bond as an Australian Cattle Dog may chase moving vehicles or herd children, sometimes by nipping. Australian Cattle Dogs may also be suspicious of or cautious with strangers, which implies some degree of low level fear or concern about strangers, but socialization can minimize the development of fear-based defensive aggression.
The Australian Cattle Dog was developed in the late nineteenth century. Australian settlers were in need of a dog that had the stamina to withstand the rigors of the harsh climate and conditions of the country. They also needed a dog that would be able to properly herd their animals. The breeding efforts began in the 1930's when a native Dingo was crossed with a blue-speckled, smooth-coated Collie imported from Scotland. The litter that resulted is considered to be the Australian Cattle Dog's earliest direct ancestors. The breed was introduced into the United States by two Californian fanciers in the late 1960's and the American Kennel Club recognized the Australian Cattle Dog as an official breed in 1980.